Situational vs. Generational Poverty

Many families have been hit by tremendous hardship as entire industries have been hit hard and foreclosure has hit all time highs. Now increasing numbers of people are facing a change of class while they attempt to pick up the pieces. It is increasingly needful to understand poverty in our current national economic downturn. In order to clearly identify what families are going through today we must define generational versus situational poverty.

Generational poverty and situational poverty while similar have very different beginnings and sometimes outcomes. People of generational poverty are “those who have two or more generations living in poverty.” Many of these families live together and have had most of their lives while renting and struggling to make transitions economically toward a better way of life. Where as situational poverty is just that, based on dire and often unexpected circumstances. We can remember them as the 7 D’s: Divorce, Death, Disease, Downsized, Disabled, Disasters and Debt.


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